via Mutsvangwa under fire – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 16, 2015
War Veterans minister Chris Mutsvangwa has been accused of fuelling divisions and chaos in the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA), an organisation that represents children of war veterans, after offering a platform to some members of the group to attack Zanu PF Cabinet ministers.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Mutsvangwa is also ZNLWVA chairman.
ZNLWVA member Munyaradzi Shoko told NewsDay yesterday that his association was not happy with Mutsvangwa for affording “some people a platform to attack Cabinet ministers” without the blessing of its leadership.
“As far as I know, the people who purported to be representing us are not our members, but that is secondary to us. We want to know why the minister [Mutsvangwa]offered them a platform to attack fellow Cabinet ministers from the same party. We want to know his interest in the matter because we suspect that these guys were sent by him to convey his message which he could not convey to his fellow ministers,” Shoko said.
Last week, a group purporting to be representing children of war veterans held a Press briefing at Mutsvangwa’s office and demanded that Zanu PF political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, politburo members, Jonathan Moyo and Patrick Zhuwao, be removed from both party and government posts for allegedly disrespecting veterans of the armed struggle whom Kasukuwere once described as “drunkards and uncouth tax drivers” over an internal misunderstanding.
Addressing journalists at the War Veterans ministry’s offices, children of war vets said it was no longer acceptable for Kasukuwere to continue as the party’s commissar unless he apologised for making disparaging remarks against war veterans.
But Shoko, who claimed to be the leader of the association, distanced his organisation from the statement, accusing the War Veterans minister of being the mastermind of the Press conference.
“The minister must tell us why he gave such a platform to these guys who are not in our leadership structures. We want to know under whose authority he afforded Innocent Mhlanga the latitude to involve himself in Zanu PF internal politics. He is not one of us, so he can’t speak for us,” Shoko said.
Mutsvangwa refused to comment on the issue saying: “I don’t comment on childish issues. Leave me out of those petty issues. I have bigger things to attend to than talk about useless issues.”
Early this year, Kasukuwere described some war veterans as “drunkards and uncouth” after they had accused him and his associates, labelled as G40 members, for plotting to overthrow President Robert Mugabe.
This was at the height of factional wars on who was to represent Zanu PF in the Harare East by-election between Terence Mukupe and Mavis Gumbo.
After his utterances, the war veterans expressed dismay and requested that Mugabe remove the Mount Darwin South MP from the hot seat which is responsible for party structures.
Mutsvangwa has been linked to a faction supporting Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa to take over from Mugabe when he leaves national politics, while Kasukuwere is said to be a member of a group that is pushing for First Lady Grace Mugabe to take over under the banner of G40.
The Local Government minister has, however, denied being a member of any faction in Zanu PF.
Two weeks ago another Zanu PF-linked group, Zimbabwe Youth Action Platform, threatened to manhandle Kasukuwere, Zhuwao and Moyo if they set their feet at the National Heroes’ Acre.